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Small Business Economics

Entrepreneurial Accessibility, Eudaimonic Well-Being, and Inequality

Journal Article
Reference
Boudreaux, Christopher J., Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson and David S. Lucas (forthcoming). “Entrepreneurial Accessibility, Eudaimonic Well-Being, and Inequality”. Small Business Economics. doi.org/10.1007/s11187-021-00569-3

Authors
Christopher J. Boudreaux, Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson, David S. Lucas

Amidst considerable debate on the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic inequality, scholarship only indirectly addresses how entrepreneurship informs individuals’ relative well-being. We theorize on the nuanced relationship between entrepreneurship and equality of eudaimonic well-being through the lens of New Institutional Economics. Drawing on theories of human flourishing, we suggest that entrepreneurial action is an underappreciated mechanism by which individuals pursue well-being. Equality of well-being is thus influenced by a society’s entrepreneurial accessibility: the freedom of individuals to choose to engage in entrepreneurial action.

We present a multilevel framework in which institutional factors enable entrepreneurial action by promoting entrepreneurial accessibility—a factor, that, in turn, affects well-being for individual entrepreneurs as well as societal eudaimonic equality. The ex ante conditions for equality of well-being entail institutions that yield broad entrepreneurial accessibility. Our work highlights the institutional prerequisites for human flourishing in the entrepreneurial society beyond (unequal) economic distributions.